Old 03-19-14, 11:37 AM
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A jig is needed for initial fork construction but not so much for subsequent alignment of a steel fork. If this is for your own riding, give it a try yourself and don't ever re-sell to unsuspecting victim unaware of the risk. Get a front wheel that is true and perfectly dished and you should be able to tell which way the fork is bent off-center by sighting down the steer tube and by comparing the gap between rim and each of the fork legs. Realize that if the legs are bent toward off center toward the left, then the rim will be closer to the right fork leg. Measure the gap between the dropouts, should be 100mm for a normal wheel. If the gap is not exactly 100mm, use this info to help you determine (along with the gap of the rim) if perhaps just one of the legs rather than both is bent inward of outward. Once you have an idea how the leg(s) need to move, gently clamp the steer tube in a bench vise and use a cheater bar pipe over the end of the leg to show it who is boss. Proceed bending carefully, making adjustments in small increments, stopping to re-measure after each attempt. Side-to-side alignment of forks is fairly straitforward, get much more complicated (and risky) if the blades have been pushed backward from a frontal impact and/or if the legs are twisted in relation to the crown. Probably would be a good idea to first get a junker fork and practice your technique in order to develop a feel for the effort needed produce movement of the fork legs before working on your keeper fork. Only ever attempt to realign steel forks, bent aluminum forks cannot safely be realigned and should be cut-up and thrown away if they show any sign of damage.
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